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We have a SharePoint 2010 intranet that is heavily used for document management. We are about to open a second office interstate and want to ensure the best experience for them speed-wise. We are installing a 20Mbps dedicated data pipe between the offices and will be using WAN accelerators.

Are there any SharePoint systems that we should be considering to give our interstate colleagues the fastest access to the intranet? For example, I have thought about putting a web front end down at their office or even a dedicated SQL Server that hosts their most frequently accessed sites in local content databases. However, running a distributed farm sounds risky, particularly the database side.

Is there something on the SharePoint side we should bring in to our plans or is our current strategy of throwing heavy duty IT resources at a centralised system the best approach?

We can't run separate farms in different locations - everything needs to be accessible from everywhere else.

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2 Answers 2

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A "stretched" farm requires a 1Gbps/1ms connection between all SharePoint Servers and the SQL Server(s), so your situation doesn't fit that. You could run multiple farms, one in each location with the most frequently used documents on the local farm.

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Interesting article, thanks. So running a stretched farm is not an option; running separate farms isn't possible either as the system is designed for collaboration of all staff no matter where they are on the one system. Looks like we're going centralised. –  Chris Latta May 23 '12 at 1:21

You may want to check out using replication software companies like Metalogix and Avepoint are two companies that offer this for real time syncronization between farms, which could also help with DR giving you two farms with the same data. You are already implementing WAN accelerators so you may be fine with just that and your centralized farm.

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Just keep in mind that not even Microsoft uses this method of DR. Instead they use Database Mirroring and Log Shipping, depending on database. –  Trevor Seward May 23 '12 at 2:59

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